Read “The Complex,” a chapter from Mohammed Rabie’s “Year of the Dragon,” a novel that explores the infuriating, bizarre, and sometimes hilarious underbelly of Egyptian bureaucracy.
You might have read Hadil Ghoneim’s recent essay on a group of US high school students reading Mahfouz. The piece ran ahead of an Ann Arbor teachers meeting, for which Ghoneim and ArabLit assembled this list — with some help from translator Trevor LeGassick, teacher Sarah Andrew-Vaughn, and others.
Thanks to everyone who sent in events. The calendar will continue to grow throughout the month.
When Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi declared that the saying should no longer be “Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, and Baghdad reads,” but instead some combination of Qatari and Emirati cities, many observers scoffed. Yet the Emirates is not just investing in big book fairs and big literary prizes, but also in individual writers.
Emerging Sudanese author Mansour El Souwaim has received a number of plaudits. He was named one of the “Beirut39″ in 2009, one of the top 39 Arab authors under 40, won the Tayeb Salih award for his second novel, and was selected to participate in the 2009 International Prize for Arabic Fiction nadwa. Souwaim has a new novel out, The Last Sultan, which Nassir Elsayed Elnour says “calls on us to rethink history.”
As translator Khaled Mattawa wrote, and Etwebi himself posted on Twitter, the Libyan poet’s home has been attacked and occupied by militia on August 25.
Translator Max Shmookler, who is currently co-editing a collection of Sudanese short stories with ArabLit contributor Raphael Cormack, explores the tension between what Sudanese readers think is a great story and the story that will appear “great” in English translation.
Dalya Alberge, writing in The Guardian, asserted Saturday that there is a “mini-boom” in literature translated into English. It’s hard to say if that’s the case — Alberge doesn’t have hard numbers — but the success of A Bird is Not a Stone is surely instructive.
Alessandro Spina — the nom de plume of Benghazi-born author Basili Shafik Khouzam — died last year, two weeks before André Naffis-Sahely came to an agreement with a London publisher to translate his epic “The Confines of the Shadow,” which, Naffis-Sahely writes, “belongs alongside panoptic masterpieces like ‘Buddenbrooks,’ ‘The Man Without Qualities’ and ‘The Cairo Trilogy.'”
Yesterday, ArabLit posted about a new Mohamed Choukri International Award while making only slight mention of the circumstances under which Choukri’s seminal “al-Khubz al-Hafi” was translated into English. Indeed, calling it a translation is perhaps inaccurate.
World literary awards are plentiful, although credible, transparent, and interesting ones less so. The Mohamed Choukri Foundation, named for the celebrated Moroccan author, recently announced the establishment of one in Choukri’s name.
Oum Cartoon blogger Jonathan Guyer has a piece up at the Paris Review this week about “The Case of the Arabic Noirs.” In it, he argues that — in Egypt, at least — the crime novel might be coming back.